Servers, waiters and waitresses are responsible for taking meal orders, delivering food and managing diners in a restaurant. They are expected to be good at communication in order to accurately explain menu items and understand customer orders. Servers also need to have basic math skills and must be able to multitask in managing the needs of various tables during their shift. Shifts are spent standing and carrying trays to and from tables, so physical fitness and balance are required. Those with the skills necessary for serving jobs may also qualify for positions such as bartenders, wine stewards or food services supervisors.
Servers Waiter Waitress Education Requirements
Generally, server, waiter and waitress jobs do not require any form of education though a high school degree or equivalent may be required to work for some restaurants. Typically, skills are learned on the job though some restaurants may provide classes as part of their new employee training program. Employees who serve alcohol may need to go through additional classes to receive an alcohol serving permit depending on the state. Servers desiring to move up to manager positions should consider an associate or bachelor's degree in hospitality or restaurant management to remain competitive for promotions.
Servers Waiter Waitress Job Market
The job outlook for servers, waiter and waitress jobs is expected to rise approximately 6 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment opportunities are projected to be best for experienced servers. Competition for employment is higher in upscale restaurants due to opportunities for higher gratuities.
Servers Waiter Waitress Salary
The median annual salary for servers, waiter and waitress jobs is $18,540 per year. Food serving jobs rely largely on gratuity. As such, the total pay when including tips can increase the yearly income considerably. Gross income will vary depending on factors such as where the job is located, the quality and food prices of a restaurant and the overall level of service and personality a server provides their customers.